New iPads make it much easier to manage battery health


iPad Battery Health menu
Quickly checking iPad battery health just got a lot easier with M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The new M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air finally make it easy to manage your tablet’s battery heath from the Settings app. iPadOS finally has a Battery Health menu in its 17.5 version, but it only works with the new iPads, not older models.

The new feature lets you limit charges to 80% capacity, which can extend the battery’s lifespan.

M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air make it easy to check battery health

The new functionality is separate from the battery capacity icon you see at the upper right of the screen on iPads, of course. In Settings, the new Battery Health menu shows users shows a set of stats related to battery health, iCulture pointed out Tuesday as it explored the iPad models it received for review.

As with iPhone 15 models, the new M2 iPad Air and M4 iPad Pro lets users limit the maximum charge to 80% if they want. So the iPad will stop charging automatically at that level. That slows battery wear over time so the battery has a longer effective life.

What the new Battery Health menu includes

M4 iPad Pro Battery Health screen
M4 iPad Pro includes a Battery Health screen in Settings.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Battery Health menu shows a Battery Health status (e.g., “Normal”), Maximum Capacity relative to when it was new, Cycle Count, Manufacture Date and First Use. More importantly, it includes a toggle switch to turn on 80% Limit.

A very recent Cult of Mac how-to article shows the complexity of checking battery health on iPads up to now. And it’s still useful, especially for older models.

As the article explains, every device has a finite number of battery “cycles” in its lifespan.

“Each one comes with a limited number of times it can be charged and discharged, which is called a cycle,” the article notes. “But every time you plug in the device isn’t the start of a new cycle. One starts only after all of the battery’s power has been expended.”

Apple says iPads should retain up to 80% of their original battery capacity after 1,000 cycles. As the percentage goes down over time, Apple may recommend a new battery or even a new device.

Not quite caught up to iPhone 15

Yet while the new iPads appear to be catching up to iPhone 15 regarding battery-health checks,  they haven’t pulled even. The new iPads’ Battery Health menu doesn’t include iPhone 15’s Optimized Charging feature. That function pumps up the battery’s last 20% to full only when needed.

And as to whether older iPad models will gain the new Battery Health menu with a future software update, it’s hard to say. But that hasn’t happened with iPhones. As of yet, only the Series 15 lineup includes the feature.


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